The Christmas campaign was run on Poundland’s social media pages and depicted a children’s toy elf in a series of pictures that had sexual connotations.
ASA said it received 85 complaints about the ads while Poundland was also told by Twinings Tea to remove their product from an image which featured the elf dangling a tea bag over a dolls face with the caption ‘How do you take your tea? One lump or two?’
ASA ruled that the elf campaign was likely to cause widespread offence.
It also noted that although under-13s were prevented from creating accounts on both Twitter and Facebook, the retailer’s pages were not age gated and could therefore be seen by anyone.
In response Poundland stated that the campaign was based on humour and double entendres.
They explained that the nature of a double entendre was that “they would not be understood by children”. They also stated Twitter and Facebook had policies which prevented under-13s from creating accounts on their websites and Poundland had “never sought to encourage anyone other than adults to follow Poundland on these social networks”.
Poundland has since created a page on its website including an image of the elf behind bars with a letter supposedly written by the character.
The statement reads: “Britain’s the home of saucy postcards, Carry On films and panto, so I’m sad the ASA found my double entendres hard to swallow. At least it’s only 84 people who had a sense of humour failure compared to the tens of thousands who got the joke and liked and shared my posts online.”
“I’m doing everything I can to be good so I can get out on good behaviour later this year. Love, Elfie x”.